A few days before Valentine's Day, I got an email from Betty Crocker (I signed up for their email recipes, have you done this? I get some good ideas from them!) and in it was a recipe for Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes.
Uh, yeah. You had me at Red Velvet but then you added cheesecake and I was gone forever.
I made these last night for our dessert, but while I was making them, I had visions of all the different ways you could make them different flavors. Mint and green for St. Patrick's Day, Lemon and pastel colors for Easter, cherry and blueberry with red and blue color for 4th of July, etc. You get the point, if you can imagine it, you can make these.
Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes
24 thin chocolate wafer cookies, crushed (I couldn't find these at my store, so I used oreos instead)
3 Tablespoons melted butter
2 8-oz packages of cream cheese PLUS 4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 Tablespoons red food coloring
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, optional
1 Tablespoon sugar or powdered sugar, optional
Line 16 regular muffin cups with foil liners (I used paper and they turned out just fine). Mix crushed cookies with melted butter and press into the cupcake liners. Beat the cream cheese until fluffy; add sugar, vanilla and cocoa, beat again. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Evenly distribute the cheesecake batter into the cups, they will be really full, and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 1 hour in the muffin tin. Take the cheesecakes out and place on a cookie sheet and chill for at least 1 hour in the fridge, or overnight.
To serve, whip the cream with the sugar and dollop onto the top of the cheesecakes.
This is a very, very simple recipe. I want to warn you that they do sink in the centers a bit, so don't worry if that happens to you. It just makes a nice dip to put more whipped cream in ;)
I thought that these cheesecakes were less rich than a regular one. I don't know if it is the size of them, or if there really isn't much sugar when you divide it up into 16. Whatever the reason, they are delicious and perfectly satisfying, heck they are even portion controlled.
Now, to my little confession. I accidentally bought fat free cream cheese (GASP) and I didn't notice it until it was already in the oven. You could NOT tell. So, on the website it says that each one is 290 calories, but ours were a lot less, accidentally! I call that a successful mistake, and no one was the wiser.
Keep these in mind the next time you need to make a dessert, they will make everyone happy!